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Civil-military Relations & Democracy

Civil-military rel

The word ‘civil’ refers to the civil government as an entity, of which the military itself is a significant part. The civil government is decidedly the superior of the two and the only relationship between them should be that of a superior and a subordinate. But, in Pakistan’s case, the subordinate entity has, time and again, toppled the superior entity’s rule. These interventions have impacted all state institutions including the Constitution, Parliament, Judiciary and the Civil Services so hugely that all sections of the society abhor any repeat of such intervention.

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Peshawar Tragedy

Peshawar by Amanat Chaudhry
How to deal with terror
Barely has one month passed since the heart-rending and soul-piercing Peshawar tragedy took place that much hyped political consensus against terrorism has started developing cracks. The first blow to the nascent national unity was dealt by the JUI-F chief, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, who opted out to support the 21st amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, objecting to the use of word ‘religion’ and ‘sect’.

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Pakistan’s Economy in 2014

Economy

The economy of Pakistan had been in turbulent waters since it remained grappling with one crisis after the other during the previous year. During this year Pakistan witnessed a lot more politics as well as the scourge of terrorism that left little room for reviving the crippling economy. In fact the year ended with a mix of more failures than achievements.

The available data suggests that the economy, in 2014, faced several reversals caused by various internal as well as external factors. The economy saw a high growth of the value of dollar against rupee and then appreciation of the latter. A declining trend of inflation was also observed and oil prices touching historical highs and now big slumps in its prices.

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Pakistan’s Foreign Relations in 2014

Pakistan's Foreign Relations in 2014

The year 2014 has been a period of tumult as well as great gains in the realm of foreign policy. Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours except India and other superpowers improved a lot during this year. Pakistan, keeping in view its geostrategic position and econo-political conditions in present times, needs to enhance its bilateral relations with other countries. The association with some nations has been historically harmonious, however, with some it has been more of a roller coaster ride with a fair deal of ups and downs. Here is a brief analysis of how Pakistan’s foreign relations fared in 2014.

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The Sit-ins and Naya Pakistan

The Sit-ins and Naya Pakistan

Pakistan verily has a dynamic political history and street politics has always been a crucial part of it. Protests, processions, long marches and sit-ins have occurred during military dictatorships and civilian regimes alike. Sometimes largely peaceful and sometimes marred by bullets and blood, protest movements have achieved varying results in the past.

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Islamic Banking Explained


Islamic Banking Explained

Islamic banking is defined as a banking system which is in consonance with the spirit, ethos and value system of Islam and governed by the principles laid down by Shariah. As per the ordainments of Shariah, Islamic banking cannot deal in transactions involving interest/riba (an increase stipulated or sought over the principal of a loan or debt). Islamic banks focus on generating returns through investment tools which are Shariah-compliant as well. The Shariah links the gain on capital with its performance. Operating within the ambit of Shariah, the operations of Islamic banking are based on sharing the risk which may arise through trading and investment activities using contracts of various Islamic modes of finance.

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Sanctions, Economic War Crimes

Sanctions

The European Union and United States have been targeting Russia with economic sanctions. On 17 March 2014, the EU imposed the first travel bans and asset freezes against Russian and Ukrainian officials following Russia’s annexation of Crimea as there was “absence of de-escalatory steps by the Russian Federation”. Here is a write-up which elucidates the Russian viewpoint on this most crucial international issue of contemporary times.

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CIA ‘Torture Report

CIA Torture Report

20 Key Findings

The US Senate Intelligence Committee recently released a summary of a report into the CIA interrogation programme established by US spy chiefs after the terror attacks of 11 September 2001. Here are the highlighted 20 key findings.

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Design Within Reach


Design Within Reach

Two years ago, the physicist Neil Gershenfeld argued that the next great digital revolution would come not in computing or communication but in fabrication. Today, 3-D printing, which uses digital data to rapidly construct physical objects, is more accessible than ever. Automakers are placing the latest printing devices on factory floors; design students are learning that they can make virtually anything out of plastic, and scientists are experimenting with human tissues. Last year, Australian biologists at the University of Queensland created a functioning kidney from scratch, albeit in miniature; they are now working on printing such organs by layering tiny sheets of living cells.

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London Conference on Afghanistan

London-Conference-on-afghan.jpg

Since the withdrawal of Nato and Isaf forces from the war-torn Afghanistan is in the offing, and the country is entering into yet another transformative period, a grand international conference, the London Conference on Afghanistan, where the world met to discuss how to help tackle Afghanistan's many problems, was held in London on December 4, 2014. The Conference was jointly hosted by the British and Afghan governments. In total, 74 international delegations were invited, including 59 partner countries as well as multilateral organizations, NGOs and representatives of civil society. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, was one of the key speakers at the conference.

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Authors In Spotlight

Raja Menon
Raja Menon

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“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”